Friday, January 18, 2008

A Letter from HSLDA

To my family: Forgive the long post again. I'm trying to get some feedback for tomorrow!

My post:

In my continued turmoil over who to vote for tomorrow, I've found this letter helpful; so I'm passing it along. This is to contrast to what Spunky Home School has been writing about Huckabee. Both make good points! What I'm struggling with is whether I should follow the advice of Mike Farris, a man that teaches constitutional law and is involved daily with Washington concerning Home School Issues, or a mom in Michigan that can dig through the news and separate the meat from the bones. Both share my convictions, and both have proven valuable resources over time. Either way, Mike's letter makes some good points. Read it and let me know what you think. I have to decide by tomorrow!

A Letter from Mike Farris:

I write in the hope that you will consider my analysis on two critical issues:

  • Why you should vote for Governor Huckabe on the 19th.
  • Why I have decided personally to support Governor Mike Huckabee for President in 2008.

Let's start with the second issue and then return to the Primary.

In fairness, let me reveal the factors I used for deciding who to support for President. Many of you will recognize scriptural themes in my analysis. Let me emphasize, this is how I made my decision. I believe that every American has the total freedom and right to use their own value system to reach their own conclusions.

  • Our president should be a man of a consistent philosophy proven over time. In Deuteronomy 17, kings of Israel were to be those who did not deviate from the right way either to the right or the left. I simply do not trust those who have not been consistent over time--especially those who finally "discover" that they are social conservatives at the very time they are running for president.
  • Our president must be a man of consistent character.
  • Our president should have that rare combination of leadership, tenacity, and humility that is commended in that same passage. Leaders of Israel were to be strong to be sure, but they were, ". . .not to consider themselves better than their brothers."
  • Our president should not be a neophyte in serious leadership positions. The New Testaments tells us that church leaders should be "tested" and that we are to avoid "laying hands" suddenly on someone. Although this does not apply directly to political leaders, I believe that there is wisdom in this standard that is broadly applicable.
  • Our president must be an unwavering supporter of the right to life--period.
  • Our president must understand the original intent of our Constitution and insist that both his administration and his judicial appointments faithfully follow its provisions.
  • Our president must believe in American self-government. I will never support someone who believes that it is proper for any branch of government--other than an elected legislature--to make our laws. The UN should not be allowed to make laws for America. The Supreme Court should not be allowed to make law. No agency of government should be allowed to use international law to override the law of this country.
  • Our president must believe in liberty--religious liberty for all is a first principle--but all principles of the First Amendment--and the Second (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) are essential. But, our president must understand that liberty under law allows for moral standards, not the amorality and decadence that is the byproduct of libertarianism.

After a thorough review of all candidates, I believe that Mike Huckabee fully embraces all of these principles, qualities and possesses all of the relevant experience so that he is fully qualified to be our President.

Importantly, I believe that he has the best ability I have ever witnessed to communicate these values in a winsome and articulate fashion. His ability to communicate with such ease and quickness is not just a speaking gift, but it arises from a heart of deep conviction so that he never has to first stop and ask himself, "What am I supposed to say about this issue?"

On a pragmatic note, Americans elect Governors, not Senators, not members of the House and certainly not mayors. And Americans DO NOT elect moderate Republicans.

In 1976--Ford (a moderate) lost.
In 1980--Reagan ("too conservative for America") won a landslide.
In 1984--Reagan won another landslide.
In 1988--Bush (41) won because America thought he was Reagan, Jr.
In 1992--Bush lost after he violated his pledge on taxes and America knew he was a moderate.
In 1996--Dole (a moderate) lost.
In 2000--Bush (43) ran as a pro-life conservative and won.
In 2004--Bush won again.

The lessons to be learned are that when the GOP nominates a Senator we lose, and when we nominate a moderate we lose. We need a conservative Governor who is pro-life, pro-family and pro-Constitution. That is the pragmatic formula for victory.

Many of you know that my wife and I have homeschooled our children for 25 years. I have nine grandchildren being homeschooled. I am absolutely committed to the protection of the freedom for home education.

I believe that the biggest threat on the horizon to home education specifically and to parental rights in general is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Hillary Clinton will make this one of her highest priorities if she is elected president.

We need a president who is absolutely committed to the sovereignty of America and the sanctity of the family and is ready, willing and able to stop the UN from usurping the role of moms and dads who want to raise their children in a decent and honorable fashion.

Hillary makes her "pro-child" message sound so deceptively appealing. If we are going to win the presidency, the GOP candidate must stand for what is right, but also have the communication ability to make every one in America understand what a danger the UN Convention on children's rights poses to the American way of life for all of us.

Mike Huckabee has the convictions, the ability to communicate, and the ability to beat Hillary in debate after debate on this and any other issue she raises. I do not want to trust the future of my family to any person lacking the ability to truly best her in debate.

I have coached legal debate teams to repeated college national championships. I think I can spot a good debater. Mike Huckabee stands head and shoulders above all others in his ability to best any Democrat--Hillary, Obama, or Edwards.

In short,

  • Mike Huckabee has proven his convictions over time.
  • Mike Huckabee has the highest level of preparation and experience.
  • Mike Huckabee has the right character.
  • Mike Huckabee has the best ability of any candidate in either party to communicate a winsome and articulate message.
  • Mike Huckabee is probably the only Republican who can win.

Here is the rub:

The media has decided for us who the frontrunners are, and big money Republicans have decided that they will only bet on frontrunners.

January 19th is a critical moment in this campaign. It is an opportunity that the American public--not the media--gets to select the frontrunner.

I have had hundreds of people say to me, “Yes, Mike Huckabee is probably the best candidate--but how is he going to break out of the pack?”

The answer is, January 19th! If he can gain a very strong showing on the 19th, he will be a frontrunner. And then, the money will flow, and his ability to communicate will be noticed, and I believe he will fly to the top and win the nomination.

I have no doubt that if he wins the nomination, he will win the presidency. I cannot say that about any other Republican because winning requires that special combination of life experience (Governors), conservatism, and communication skill.

I know that this has been a little long. But choosing a president is a big deal. If my analysis seems sound to you, then I ask you to for Governor Huckabee on the 19th.
It is no exaggeration to say that the future of our country may well be riding on this event.

Let's show the media that we know how to pick a frontrunner that truly shares our values and can defend them against all comers with a humble spirit, unshakeable convictions and courageous leadership.

Come support Mike!


Michael Farris


Spunky said...

"What I'm struggling with is whether I should follow the advice of Mike Farris, a man that teaches constitutional law and is involved daily with Washington concerning Home School Issues, or a mom in Michigan that can dig through the news and separate the meat from the bones. Both share my convictions, and both have proven valuable resources over time."

There is also the opinion of Ned Ryun who was the director of HSLDA-PAC at the time of the endorsement and not told about it until after the fact. Why would HSLDA-PAC make an endorsment without consulting its own director? (links on my blog) Keep in mind Ned Ryun's credentials as well. He served in the Bush (43) adminstration and started Generation Joshua. He has confirmed much of my research and and has now since left HSLDA offer concerns with their direction and this endorsement. So there are lots of people, lots of opinions, and lots of factors.

I also found it ironic that HSLDA didn't even know about the IBO/UN establishing roots in our nation's schools including Arkansas under Huckabee. Farris is strongly opposed to the UN Rights of the Child, but this organization is already in place and eroding our national citizenship in place of global citizenship. So while the UN Rights of Child is of concern is HSLDA ignoring the real "elephant" in education?

Jim said...

How do you know Ned Ryun is not a disgruntled ex-employee? Why wasn't he informed and what was going on at the time? How do you know the the HSLDA didn't know about the IBO? How much research have you done on this, and if you have answers to these questions, where can I go to read up on this? All of these questions need to be answered, but I'm coming up short when I try to fill in the blanks; and I'm just about out of time. If you have anything to add further support to your argument, please let me know.

Spunky said...

One other note about Farris's reasons for supporting Huckabee. He gives his reason, but gives no supporting evidence to support that this is true of Huckabee. This tells me he's relying on our trust of Farris to determine whether Huckabee is all of these things and does nothing to refute some of the credible evidence that contradicts these claims. For example, Huckabee has said he ALWAYS supported a life amendment to the Constitution, that is not true. Huckabee said he had a theology degree, that is not true. Farris doesn't talk about the fact that Huckabee wants to "assist" homeschoolers as way of saying thank-you for homeschooling. Farris doesn't address the appointment of Dr. Ray Simon to the Dept. of Ed. who obviously has concerns about the number of parents homeschooling.

I think Farris is a wonderful Christian man, but like all men we are able to make erroneous assumptions about the character of others. Unless Farris provides substantive evidence to support his assertions and a willingness to address the legitimate concerns, I personally don't put a whole lot in this follow-up letter.

Jim said...

My first questions still stand though. Have you found anything online that can answer these specific questions? I do trust Farris. He has a proven record. Why should I take Ryun's word over his? Who has more to loose? How do you know Farris didn't know anything about the IBO? You seem so sure. I love your blog Spunky, but you're simply not in a position to be as well informed as Farris. I have to make sure you are not making "erroneous assumptions about the character of others".

Brian said...

I find it unfortunate that Mike Farris boils down his selection to a single issue...electability. He is willing to compromise all of the other liberal perspectives Mike Huckabee has (the role of government in education; monetary policy; etc) and champion Gov. Huckabee's ability to debate and his potential electability.

Ron Paul is another candidate who embodies all the same views as expressed by Mr. Farris, however, this candidate has been deemed "unelectable". Also, I will grant that Dr. Paul is not as polished as Gov. Huckabee in political debates, but this only enhances and showcases his integrity.

The ability to communicate and debate effectively is no doubt a desirable trait, but unfortunately I would not contend that it trumps all other values, principles and philosophies a candidate holds.

As the country continues down the slope of bankruptcy, all the political rhetoric, debate and communication is not going to save us from the influence and legal plunder by the UN.

Brian said...

With regard to Mike Farris' strong support of Gov. Huckabee's stand against UN would Mr. Farris respond to Gov. Huckabee's association and cousel from the CFR. Gov. Huckabee's primary foreign policy advisor is Richard Haas, President of the CFR, who is strongly in favor of global community influence over the affairs of nations. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is just one small attempt to place the US under global community control.

Spunky said...

"How do you know Ned Ryun is not a disgruntled ex-employee? Why wasn't he informed and what was going on at the time?"

You'll have to ask those questions to Ned Ryun. He provided some information on his blog. Ned Ryun has a very strong reputation both politically and among homeschoolers, the fact that he boldly made the statement saying he was not informed and Farris who also has a lot of credibility has not offered a substantive reply, tells me there must be some merit to the claims of Ryun. Further, Ryun may be a disgruntled employee, but eve if that is true, it doesn't negate the truth of what he says. It just speaks about his personal motives for sharing it.

"How do you know the the HSLDA didn't know about the IBO? How much research have you done on this, and if you have answers to these questions, where can I go to read up on this?"

My first realization that HSLDA didn't know a lot about what I was writing on my blog regarding national and international standards came when then HSLDA attorney left a comment on my blog calling me a "sucker" for falling for the New York Times story on national standards. Here's the link

I didn't take it personally but I knew my information was good. We exchanged in a bit of banter in emails and he finally acknoweldged that my concerns were legitimate. Somerville is no longer an HSLDA attorney and now operates his family's Tapestry of Grace homeschool curriculum business. I use his curriculum and we are friends. So it ended well.

More recently, I talked to HSLDA about Huckabee and the representative talked about the UN. When I mentioned the IBO curriclum it was obvious he didn't know what I was talking about. This person was someone in charge of federal legislation. If he didn't know about IBO did anyone at HSLDA? I asked him and he said it really hadn't come up much in their meetings. I quickly gave him a run down on the IBO and their goals in education. He was interested and taking notes.

I'm not sure what blanks you want me to fill in, about IBO? You can go to EdWatch or Eagle Forum and find out credible information there. You can also go to the IBO website and read the PDF's on their intentions. That's what I've done but it is time consuming.

Have I answered your questions?

Spunky said...

I agree about the "electibility" issue and the senate issue. That would likely be a non-issue if ALL the candidates were senators. All the democrat candidates are senators. Some of Huckabee's surge can also be attributed to the efforts of homeschoolers in Iowa who were emboldened by the Farris endorsement. If Farris had not picked Huckabee so early would the homeschoolers have been as willing to jump on the bandwagon of a Governor who restricted homeschooling in Arkansas? My guess is no. Especially considering that as news of Huckbee's record has gotten greater srutiny homeschoolers have moved away from Huckabee. In Michigan I read several early stories where Huckabee expected to duplicate Iowa using "grassroots" homeschool supporters. That never materialized and Huckabee got a little over 15% of the vote. So if electability was Farris's concern it appears that Huckabee can't go beyond his base and that in fact, his base is actually quite soft.

Jim said...

"Have I answered your questions?"

You have the best you can. I've logged both of the site you suggested I look at. Thanks for the info. I'll look into it.

Ben said...

Brian is absolutely right. My main impression when reading Farris's letter is that that he thinks Huckabee is electable. I see a lot of long time Republicans expressing this sort of loyalty to the party regardless of the persons principles and philosophy. Huckabee is trying to put a veiner on his image to soften his strongly liberal record:

He is also right about Ron Paul. Paul is a man of character who doesn't flop around what he supports and actually has political principles and ideals he follows:

Ben said...

Nice going blogger. It says I can use markup and then doesn't display my links. Here they are in order:

Pure and Sensible said...

Thank you for posting this letter. I personally agree with Farris' heart in the content of his letter. I want to look into the "IBO" more. (...ugh...more time...)

As much as I'd like to support his "vision" for homeschooling, I CANNOT support Ron Paul against any other candidate, simply by his national security/foreign policy alone.

Homeschooling mom and Veteran

Pure and Sensible said...

Thank you for sending your blog address. I wrote a very brief post linking to your post. Thank you for sharing.